Was this how it was to be young again, circa: 1940 or 1941? Time Life Records certainly thought so back in 1970 when this 3x LP comp was released. 30, unoriginal (read: covers… or impostors) tracks span the popular swing sound during this two-year period, highlighting works from Duke Ellington, Harry James, Artie Shaw, Les Brown, Glenn Miller, and the like. If you’re in the mood (see what I did there?) for original swing era recordings, The Swing Era: The Music of 1940-1941; How It Was to be Young Then is NOT for you, but if you’re satisfied with some unobtrusive background instrumental ditties, then this box set may be your bag.
Time Life Records kept its swingin’ stride with 1970’s The Swing Era: The Music of 1936-1936, a three LP compilation of Jazz / Swing ensembles from the mid-1930’s. The label’s second of 14+ in The Swing Era series, this gem comes complete with a 72-page, fully historical and entertaining, photo-filled booklet. The Swing Era: The Music of 1936-1937 features a bunch of Benny Goodman, some Red Norvo, a bit of Bob Crosby, a dash of Chick Webb, and a healthy dose of Tommy Dorsey.
Slap a cap on the man, and give him a trombone, because RCA Victor Presents, Glenn Miller Army Air Force Band. Released in 1955, the five disc collection of patriotic big band hits serve God, country, and an eager ear with a cold shower, discipline, and a swingin’ good time.
As the 16-page informational booklet boasts:
“We didn’t come here to set any fashions in music. We merely came to bring a much-needed touch of home to some lads who have been here a couple of years. These lads are doing a hell of a job – they have been starved for real, live American music.” – Mr. Major Glenn Miller
Serving as leader of the 50-piece Army Air Force Band (from 1942 – 1944), Mr. Miller’s voluptuous, and international success was met with a stormy cloud of pouring despair when the plane he was occupying went missing on December 15th, 1944. The clouds of sadness would eventually depart, but the resulting flood has never receded.
Oh, and fyi, if you Google “Glenn Miller,” the photo that pops up (to the right) is of Jimmy Stewart, PLAYING Glenn Miller. Here’s a link, oh curious Curtis.
The magnificent beast of violent vulgarity sat crying on a damp, dusty slab. Under the weight of 78 tears, the Devil weighed his options, and settled on inevitable defeat. Not even Harry James and his Orchestra could coerce the Devil from his lamenting hysteria, and the Devil knew it. His number had been called, and he knew it was his turn.
He had been licked, this sultry workhorse, and the new champion was ushered in atop a crowd of hope, and a flock of aspiration. He knew he was no longer feared, and with that, he knew there was nothing left. The world stood by with gaping mouths, as The Devil Sat Down and Cried.
200 days ago I had a stupid, ridiculous, time-suck of an idea that (reluctantly) set itself free into this world… this illustrious (and regrettable) collection of short-tempered blurbs known as, The Prudent Groove.
Do I offer free downloads? No… (unless you email me). Do I solve even a smidge of the world’s problems with this 365 consecutive day project? Hello no, and I don’t even attempt to pretend that I do… except, yeah, I have unwarranted and unstable proof that my daily ramblings bring a bit of black (groove-intensive) sunshine to each and every reader, by way of my precise, personal (albeit strikingly intimate), subdued, and voyeuristic means.
Take The Groove for what it is… pure, unadulterated drivel.
The Groove is a self-deprecating dead-end that serves the purpose of one man, and one man alone… some wayward chap in Belfast, Ireland… I’m just kidding… I wanted to further my communal expressions, and I gave myself a daily task. Well, it’s been 200 days, and you may be asking, “Was it worth it?” The quick answer is, “Dear God, no!” But the truth… as far as I’m willing to admit is, “Yeah, I’ve had my moments.”
Like the Westward bound forefathers, and/or the curious, and moderately insane settlers of early Americana, The Prudent Groove marches on. Let’s just hope Typhoid doesn’t rear its ugly head while I’m attempting to forge across this self-imposed river of creative nonsense. If I’ve learned anything from The Oregon Trail, it’s that Malaria is a bitch, and hunting is better left to the experts. Choose your grooves cautiously, ladies and gentlemen, and always, I’m not joking here, ALWAYS feed your oxen.
Today, why not try a bit of big band swing from Charlie Barnet’s 1959 album, More Charlie Barnet? After all, it was made from 35mm Magnetic Film, and the cover sports an artist’s rendering of vintage headphones… and the “R” in Charlie is made up of a saxophone, so you know it’s a winner.